What to read during the mid-semester break


Photo of girl reading a book

It’s almost mid-semester break! We bid you a fond farewell… for a whole week.

Now, we know you don’t really get a break. Yes, there’s no class, but you still have a gazillion assignments to do.

But if you do have a spare moment and would like to achieve more than a selfie with the latest Snapchat filter, you could read a book. And we have plenty of books to keep you entertained for days or minutes (whatever you have time for); we are a library after all.

So this is the point where we usually bang on about eBooks and our amazing range of eBook databases (eBrary, EBL and Books 24×7). But not today. We mean actual books that you can hold, flip and sniff.

We checked the library catalogue to see what delightful fiction novels we hold on our shelves. And we seem to have quite the range – young adult fiction, adventure stories, graphic novels and historical fiction, to name a few.

Here’s a selection of books that have won prestigious literary awards (because you only have time to read the best of the best, right?):

The Pause / John Larkin
Random House Australia, 2015
Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for. But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all. Or does he?

All the birds singing / Evie Wyld
Vintage Books Australia, 2013
Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods? Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It’s just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of how one woman’s present comes from a terrible past.

Breath / Tim Winton
Penguin Books, 2009
More than once since then I’ve wondered whether the life-threatening high jinx that Loonie and I and Sando and Eva got up to in the years of my adolescence were anything more than a rebellion against the monotony of drawing breath. Breath is a story about the wildness of youth – the lust for excitement and terror, the determination to be extraordinary, the wounds that heal and those that don’t – and about learning to live with its passing.

All the lights we cannot see: a novel / Anthony Doerr
Scribner, 2014
A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks. In Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie Laure.

City of Bohane: a novel / Kevin Barry
Graywolf Press, 2013
Set 40 years in the future, the once-great city of Bohane on the west coast of Ireland is in terminal decline, with vice and tribal splits rife. Logan Hartnett, godfather of the Hartnett Fancy gang has been in charge but his nemesis has arrived back in town, his henchmen are becoming ambitious, his wife wants him to give it all up and go straight and, he has his mother to contend with.